Explainer: How to Receive and Send Money in Cambodia

International online transfer transactions are constantly rising in Cambodia. Kiripost’s Seng Mengheng looks at the different options available in the nation.
Banks in Phnom Penh, September 19, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Banks in Phnom Penh, September 19, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Since 2018, digital payment service providers through local e-commerce websites and services in Cambodia have increased dramatically. International online transfers have also risen, given how widely mobile devices are used in Cambodia and widespread internet adoption.

There are many ways to receive international money transfers and payments, but not all are fully-digitalized and some still require direct interaction with a local bank or branch. The biggest barrier is the variety of fees involved.

Many new Fintech services have made international money transfers easier, but which is best for receiving money in Cambodia, especially for the rising number of online service providers and digital nomads?

Despite Cambodia's transformation in the Fintech industry in recent years, the country is still establishing its banking and financial infrastructure. It is still feasible to carry out online commerce via traditional money transfer techniques or Fintech companies from other countries. However, there are extra fees and charges.

What is the best way to receive money from abroad?

In Cambodia, opening a bank account is the easiest way to receive money domestically and from overseas. It requires the appropriate documents depending on the bank, such as national identification card, a passport, a visa, and maybe even an employment contract. This varies from bank to bank.

After creating a bank account, you can quickly receive money from overseas by requesting from banks and cards, such as Visa, MasterCard or UnionPay. To receive money in Cambodia, you need to use the standard SWIFT transfer process, which typically takes three to five days. However, a charge must be paid in order to receive the money.

Cambodia’s National Bank has launched a new online banking platform that offers customers a variety of innovative products and enables them to conduct financial transactions quickly, in a secure and convenient manner. This newly introduced product comes as e-payment Fintech in Cambodia continues to rapidly expand. According to data from NBC, more than 59 percent of Cambodians now make online payments.

Popular international money-sending platforms, such as SWIFT, Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, Xoom, and World Remit, are available, and are particularly popular for remittances from Cambodians.

ACLEDA Bank on Monivong Boulevard, Phnom Penh, November 15, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
ACLEDA Bank on Monivong Boulevard, Phnom Penh, November 15, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

How do I send money to someone in Cambodia?

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is a global network that enables member institutions to send money effectively and safely across international borders. The SWIFT system makes it easy for people to conduct business around the world with the assurance that funds can be transferred to pay for goods and services.

More than 11,000 institutional members from more than 200 nations and territories were present in 2022.

SWIFT in banking is a messaging system. Someone who wants to send money abroad starts the transaction at their own bank, which then tells the recipient's bank that the transaction is taking place. Then, the money is transferred electronically, either directly or through another bank. The money is sent by wire transfer. Locating the banks and branches allows users to do transactions using bank wire transfers by using a SWIFT code.

The recipient's name, account number, bank routing information, and SWIFT number must be provided to your bank in order to send money via SWIFT. You must also provide your bank with the amount and currency that will be used for the transfer, as well as the recipient's mailing address, which should include the recipient's city, region, country, and postal zip code. Preventing money laundering is one of SWIFT's banking-related duties.

Western Union

Western Union began operating a transcontinental microwave data transmission system in the early 1960s, totally replacing the network of telegraph poles and wires. You can transfer and receive money at any of Western Union's 170,000 service locations worldwide without having to create a bank account.

The Western Union money transfer platform is the oldest and most popular money transfer service in Cambodia. Customers can send money using credit and debit cards, as well as via their app. Money is picked up via with whom they are partnered.

Western Union is a popular way for scams to receive money from victims, Know who you are transferring to and that you trust what the money is for. Verify the recipient's location and name, find your local Western Union office and fill out the necessary forms.

Speak with your recipient and provide them with the MTCN number given by Western Union, which they can use on the form when they go to an agent location to pick up the money.

Pick your money up from a local branch. If you are receiving your money in person, you can visit your local Western Union to pick it up. You will need the MTCN number and a photo ID with a name that matches the recipient.

They will also need a government-issued ID that matches the name of the intended recipient to collect the money.

Moneygram

Moneygram has agents in 189 countries.

The money transfer platform MoneyGram integrates with the mobile platform LinqUs, which allows customers to make international transfers with a mobile phone.

MoneyGram has hired compliance officers in many of its global offices to ensure compliance with the regulations of specific countries and regions.

The website will provide you with a list of MoneyGram locations. You can see the location on a map and follow the directions the website provides to reach your nearest MoneyGram branch. Complete the form, if applicable, If required, complete a simple receive form entering the reference number given to you by the sender.

A Moneygram money order must be filled out correctly to ensure that the payment is accepted and processed without any complications. To receive your funds, complete the form and show your valid photo ID to the agent to receive your money.

PayPal

Can I receive money on PayPal in Cambodia?

In Cambodia, you can create a PayPal account to send money only. But, it does not entirely function to receive PayPal payments directly into a Cambodian bank.

Consumers may open a PayPal account in Cambodia and connect it to a Cambodian bank card. This can be completed quickly and easily online, along with verification of your local bank account card and the Cambodian phone number linked to your PayPal account.

Through PayPal, a little amount of money will be deducted from your account. It also indicates that when charges appear on your bank statement, a code will be shown alongside them. When the code is entered and verified on the PayPal website, the funds that were taken out of your account will be credited to your bank account.

The ABA website advertises that PayPal functions work. Consumers should be able to transfer money from Cambodian bank accounts to PayPal accounts, which means they can be used to make online purchases, and send and receive money online. The actual PayPal card apparently has high withdrawal fees in Cambodia.

Ria money transfer

When sending money or receiving a payment via RIA Envia a client must open a bank account, such an account is opened for free. The number of affiliates of RIA Money Transfer is constantly growing. Currently, the company has more than 400 international partners.

Ria offers you more options to make international transfers, and send or receive money in person at any of its locations. You can find a network of Ria stores and authorized agents across the world.

Cash can be picked up at one of the Ria money transfer locations, then money can be sent and received directly to a bank account.

Xoom

Xoom is an online money transfer service that lets you send funds within the nation and to countries around the world quickly, easily, and affordably. Consumers can also use Xoom to pay the bills of family and friends who live abroad.

Xoom provides the means to reload prepaid mobile phones located internationally. Xoom is a PayPal service and can send money to Cambodia, which consumers must pick up at a Cambodian bank.

If consumers have a PayPal account, you may start using the payment options to transfer money to Cambodia. The Xoom app is also used. The Xoom website claims there were 143 pickup sites in Cambodia in 2020.

The transaction fee you pay will vary depending on the destination country, currency exchange rate, amount of money you are transferring, and your funding source.

First, create a free account, then pick the nation you are transferring money to from your account options. After that, enter the amount and decide how the funds should be distributed, such as cash pickup, direct deposit to a bank, or delivery to a specific location.

Moreover, choose a funding or payment method from your bank account, such as PayPal balance, debit card, or credit card. Lastly, fill out the requested information for your recipient and pay for your money transfer using Xoom.

While Xoom money transfers arrive within minutes, some can take several days because there are several financial intermediaries involved. You can get updates for your money transfer's status by email and text. If you prefer, you can also check on your money transfer at the Track Transactions page on Xoom's site.

You may be required to provide identification proof when you want to collect the money for most services, verify the recipient's location, the amount sent and fees, the recipient's full name as it appears on the ID, the bank name and account number.